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Recorded Spliced Conversation

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A person (first party) is communicating with another person (second party) and needs to imitate another person (third party). That third party might simply not be present, be dead, or simply won't play along. However, the first party has an audio recording of the third party, but the text in the recording doesn't suit the conversation. The first party quickly splices the third party's portion of the conversation together from the available text and uses it to trick the second party.

The source of the recording is commonly a voicemail, either the outgoing message or a message the third party left earlier.

Compare The Tape Knew You Would Say That, Of Corpse He's Alive, Manipulative Editing, and Quote Mine. May be done out-of-universe with a Fake Shemp.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Code Geass: Lelouch uses this tactic early on when Kallen begins to suspect that he is the masked Zero. He records himself as Zero giving some orders and then has a subordinate play that recording into a phone call to Kallen (making sure she can see that he is standing right there in front of her, not speaking into a phone).

    Comic Books 
  • Lori Lovecraft: Repression: When Thalia lures Lori into a trap in the clock tower, she creates a spliced recording of her husband—film director Cedric Rockwich—and plays it so it sounds like Rockwich is giving her direction from the darkness of the tower.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one FoxTrot strip, Jason does this to Paige to get her in trouble. Paige is talking the phone and says "Mr Vivona wants us to cut five articles from the newspaper every day this week for social studies, and the only scissors I have are, like, totally dull". Jason records this, then splices it together so Paige says "I cut social studies every day this week. Mr Vivona is totally dull."

    Films — Animation 
  • The Boss Baby: Family Business: When Tim refuses to call Ted for Tina's mission, she takes the conversation they just had and creates a voice mail about Tabitha falling off her pony, causing Ted to rush over.
  • In The Chipmunk Adventure, Alvin calls Dave in Paris and records him, then edits the recording to make a fake call giving the Chipmunks permission to leave home under the pretense that they're joining Dave in Europe.
  • In Norm of the North, Norm wants to prevent a building company from building houses in the Arctic, his homeland. He spends a good portion of the movie supporting the advertising campaign of that company, his plan being to convince everyone at the right moment that building houses there is not a good thing to do. However, his attempt is intercepted by Mr. Greene, who uses parts of previously recorded lines from the announcer to make it look like Norm endorses the Arctic houses, which is the last piece Mr. Greene needs to legally start building them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 3 Ninjas, one scene has the kids use a recording of their grandfather calling them to buy tickets to Japan, cutting the call after their grandfather starts insulting the airline agent (he was actually talking about the Battleaxe Nurse in the room with him).
  • In Analyze This, Paul Vitti's mob associates warn him to eliminate his psychiatrist Ben Sobel. Vitti, who's already become friends with Sobel, instead warns that if anyone makes an attempt, "I'll kill 'em". The FBI, who secretly taped the recording, cuts out Vitti's warning so that "I'll kill 'em" sounds like he's agreed with the advice and then play it to Sobel in order to trick him into becoming their mole.
  • Atomic Blonde: Lorraine edits tapes of conversations she recorded of Percival, including his final Motive Rant, and presents them to MI-6 as proof of Percival being SATCHEL instead of her.
  • In Clifford, Clifford gets Martin arrested in front of Sarah's family after calling in a fake bomb threat in city hall, made out of mixing audios of Martin's scolding of Clifford with his answering machine.
  • In Dr. Minx, Gus splices together secret recordings he made of his and Carol's sex sessions to make it sound like she conspired with him to murder her husband, then uses this tape to blackmail her.
  • Home Alone:
    • In the first, Kevin McAllister uses a VHS of the gangster film Angels With Filthy Souls to pull this on a pizza delivery guy—both to hide that he's alone in the house, and to screw with the guy. When the delivery shows up, Kevin plays the movie, pausing or fast-forwarding where appropriate to sound like a conversation with the gangster Johnny... ending with the bit where Johnny pulls out a full-auto rifle and threatens to "pump your guts fulla lead!" He does the same thing to scare off the two burglars, using firecrackers in a cooking pot to make the fake gunfire more intimidating.
    • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Kevin pulls the same trick, this time using the sequel Angels With Even Filthier Souls to scare away hotel staff who realized he was paying for the room with a stolen credit card.
  • In Paddington 2, Judy uses a tape recorder when they meet Phoenix's agent. She then plays the recordings of her voice on the phone to Phoenix to get him out of his house - so Mary can investigate.
  • Santa with Muscles: When Blake is brought back to his mansion after being cured of his amnesia, he tries to call the orphanage, and is shocked to hear Leslie telling him to just disappear forever. Except it isn't Leslie, but rather Frost and his goons hacking the telephone lines and using a recording of things Leslie was saying to Dr. Blight a few days earlier.
  • In Sneakers, Playtronics headquarters uses voice keys to unlock doors. The hacker team sets up one Playtronics employee on a blind date with their accomplice, Liz, and she transmits the entire conversation back to the team. They cut and splice the recording into a copy of the voice key, which works to get one of them into Playtronics.
  • Tango and Cash: The plan of the Big Bad to frame the titular Cowboy Cop duo for the murder of an undercover federal agent and thus disgrace them includes hiring an audio expert to create one of these out of audio samples of them during raids, plant it on the agent's Hidden Wire pickup, and have the audio expert (that is the best in the business in L.A.) testify the veracity of the recording.
    Cash (While he's interrogating the technician): Oh, hey, look! (pulls out various audio tapes) Here's some of my best hits... (pulls out more tapes) ..and Tango's. I suppose you (the technician) could create quite the nice mix-tape with them, right?
  • Thunderbird 6: The Black Phantom's grand scheme involves recording Lady Penelope's conversations through a number of listening bugs spread all over the dirigible, then splice them into a request to send the Thunderbirds 1 and 2 into a trap. The scheme works, but the moment the Tracys figure out it's a trap, they use the Thunderbirds' cannons to blow the whole place to smithereens.
  • In Unfriended: Dark Web, the Charons take snippets from AJ's web videos and splice them together to create a message saying "I am sick of the corruption. I'm going to take my store of firearms and explosives to the mall and have some fun." They then call 911 and play this message.
  • In Videodrome, professor Brian O'Blivion is a pop-culture analyst/ philosopher who believes that television will eventually replace all aspects of everyday life. He frequently appears on talk shows to debate his philosophy, but only if he can telecommute and by having his image broadcast into the studio on a TV next to the other participants. Protagonist Max goes to Professor O'Blivion's base of operations at the "Cathode Ray Mission" in order to interview him personally, but discovers that Professor O'Blivion was murdered and his daughter, Bianca O'Blivion, has been using an archive of thousands of her father's pre-recorded tapes to fake his continued appearances on television.
  • Wrong is Right. After the CIA assassinate King Awad, they leave a taped suicide note that is authenticated by the experts, but the Intrepid Reporter investigating the king's death is shown that you can assemble the same message using taped recordings of Awad's radio speeches.

  • In the Artemis Fowl book The Opal Deception, Artemis needs an excuse to get out of school for a few days. He uses an audio editor to turn a relatively light-hearted conversation he'd just had with his mother into an angry voice mail for the principal of his school, accusing him of lax standards that have resulted in Artemis getting a nasty case of food poisoning that will require him to come home for a few days to recuperate.
  • At one point in Crown of Slaves, the protagonists send a fake message from a Masadan terrorist (dead at the time) by splicing audio recordings of his voice together.
  • Tales from the White Hart: In "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch", sound engineer Osbert Inch makes a bet with his wife Ermintrude about which one of them speaks the most. He devises a device to count how many words his wife spoke in their London flat, versus how many he spoke. The counter is sealed for a week, and when it is unsealed, Osbert is shocked to discover that his word count far exceeds Ermintrude's. It does not take long for him to realize that she had taken a tape he had made using his own voice, made it into a loop and left it running in the flat while he was at work. This discovery results in the eponymous defenestration.
  • In The Warrior's Apprentice this is actually attempted with a video call (albeit unsuccessfully). The would-be tricksters attempt to disguise the "seams" with artfully-placed little bursts of video static ("white fuzz on the screen"). The protagonist catches on when he notices an object on the desk of the person supposedly on the other end of the video conference keeps flipping back and forth from being on the guy's right to being on his left.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with in Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In one episode in season 5, Gina makes a soundboard of Captain Holt to get Rosa into the room, which works because of his dull, monotone voice. Later, in the episode "Show Me Going", Jake uses the Holt soundboard app that Gina also made so that Boyle could fake a phone call to give authorisation for weapons from the armoury. Despite being successful in doing so, he does ruin Holt's friendship with the officer he's fooling. The app actually becomes available for free for Android users.
  • Burn Notice had an episode resolution where Michael talked on the phone with some bad guy while filming and recording it, then edited the other guy's words to make it look like he was cutting a deal with law enforcement - then he showed the tape to the guy's boss.
  • Cannon: In "No Pockets in a Shroud", the Villain of the Week is running a scam that involves maintaining the illusion that a hermit millionaire who died a year ago is still alive. When Cannon arrives in town, wanting to speak to the millionaire and not going away until he does so - the villain splices together taped phone conversations he had; creating a tape where the millionaire seemingly insists he won't see anyone and plays it to Cannon over the phone.
  • FBI: Most Wanted: In "Hairtrigger", Jess sends Mike Kellerman's wife Lena to speak to him in prison and get him to say certain specific phrases: recording their conversation and splicing Mike's words together to create a message the FBI leave on Molly's voicemail, telling her to change the target of the attack.
  • Played with on Leverage. One episode has a safe with a voice activated lock. The thieves get in by being able to record every possible sound from the safe's owner by getting him to say the name of a very complicated French dish, then have him drop the F-bomb when he realizes it's raw shrimp.
  • Lois & Clark has an episode called "Don't Tug on Superman's Cape" where this trick is used. The villains use a recording of Superman to fake a phone call from the Man of Steel, using it to lure Lois into a trap.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus deploys this in the barbershop sketch. The shellshocked barber places a tape recording of his voice engaging in chit-chat behind his client while servicing him.
  • Shoestring: The villain of "Mocking Bird" splices together snippets of Eddie's radio show to leave a message asking Erica to meet him at Eddie's boat. Eddie hears the message and rushes to the scene; he arrives too late to stop her from being attacked, although she isn't badly injured.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now" Wesley has created a device that can splice together sound bytes that he's recorded from the ships comm system. He uses it to create recordings of Picard "ordering" the Chief and Assistant Chief Engineers away from Main Engineering.
  • An episode of Thunder in Paradise had Spencer record an ad for a friend who wants to sell his boat. Turns out he was working for the Villain of the Week, who splice the recording into terrorist demands for money.
  • Without a Trace: When investigating a TV reporter who had probably been killed by organized crime, Jack had the tech team splice together audio from her various reports so that she could "call" the main suspect to shake him up. His reaction strongly implied—but didn't outright confirm—that she was in fact dead.

    Video Games 
  • In Firewatch, Henry discovers a secret government monitoring facility deep in the woods, and his Mission Control Delilah, in a bout of conspiracy paranoia, demands that he burn it to the ground. Even if the player has Henry talk her out of it, the facility still catches on fire later due to an unrelated incident, and he finds an audio cassette taped to his outpost door the next day, revealing that someone had intercepted their walkie-talkie communication and spliced it to sound like Henry had committed intentional arson on Delilah's orders.
  • Gabriel Knight II requires the player to do this so that Gabriel can be shown wolves in a zoo and obtain wolf hairs to prove the deaths weren't caused by a wolf.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, you need to get through a door which requires the code to be spoken by a particular (now dead) person. You can either break the controls to force it open, trick a droid into speaking the phrase for you to record, or hunt for recordings of the late guy's voice and splice them.
  • In Prominence, getting into the bridge of the Laeril requires a senior staff member to speak a certain passphrase. Since the whole crew evacuated some time ago, you have to download audio buffers from the spaceship's CCTV cameras and splice them together in an audio editor to form the passphrase.
  • In Ripper, Jake Quinlan has to download an audio editing program onto his WAC and record Dr. Burton's voice to bypass a voice lock in an animal storage area.
  • Billy from Society Of The Serpent Moon tricks the Blue Iguana bartender into abandoning his post by splicing together sound-clips of the bar's owner, Bruce, calling him into his office.
  • Also done as a puzzle in Torin's Passage, in which Torin has to trick a monster into following a recording of Lysentia's voice.
  • Vermillion Watch: In Blood: One puzzle involves cutting up and reassembling a wax cylinder recording to make it sound like one of the game's villains is ordering her mooks to leave the penthouse.
  • In Watch_Dogs 2, Marcus and DedSec do this to Gene Carcani by splicing interview clips from rapper Bobo Dakes as well as getting a piece of exclusive music so he believes it. They string him along, having him donate $50 million dollars to leukemia research as Laser-Guided Karma for raising the price on leukemia drugs. He doesn't realize he's been had until the clips start repeating and then his own stereo system starts blasting "Ode to Joy."
  • Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? (1997) uses this as part of a puzzle, in which the player has to use a phonograph to record and play back a factory owner's voice to a guard.
  • In Yandere Simulator, one of the events the player can sabotage for Osana involves recording a conversation she has with Musume, and editing the audio to make it seem like she finds Senpai disgusting. In reality, Musume first asked about some other guy she saw her with outside of school, and Osana was talking about him being disgusting. After that, Musume asks what Osana thinks about Senpai, which is what appears first in the edited audio, followed by Osana's impression of the other guy Musume saw her with.

    Web Original 
  • Red vs. Blue: The Meta listens in and records a conversation between Agent Washington and Command, then uses the clips from Command to call Sarge and send him and the rest of Red Team to distract Washington and the Blues. In a deleted scene, he uses clips from Sarge to troll Washington.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of The Angry Beavers, the brothers have a bet over who can go the longest without speaking. They both exploit the loophole of being able to communicate using recordings.
  • Dan Vs.: In the episode, Elise's Parents, Dan frames Don as part of the mafia by recording a conversation about buying a cupcake store in the area, then rearranging the contents to appear malicious.
    Dan: And what about the local crime syndicate?
    Don: I'm going to - permanently - cupcake - them.
  • Parodied and Played for Laughs in one episode of Fairly OddParents. Vicky presents Timmy's parents with a badly-doctored tape recording of Timmy admitting to cheating on his math test (and by "badly doctored", we mean the words "cheated on my math test" are in a deep voice that obviously isn't Timmy's). When Timmy objects, "I never cheated on my math test!", Vicky records it and uses it to splice together a more convincing recording on the spot.
  • Futurama
    • A variation occurs in Obsoletely Fabulous. Bender meets an outdated cartridge robot that carries a bag filled with individual cartridges for responses and conversations.
    • On the episode T The Terrestrial, Bender accidentally abandons Fry on Omicron Persei 8, but doesn't want to let the rest of the cast find out. The only recording Bender has of Fry is his outgoing voice mail. Luckily for Bender, the outgoing message is lengthy enough and Fry is The Ditz, so no one notices the strange syntax or awkward pauses from Bender repeatedly rewinding and fast-forwarding the tape.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Downplayed, but Kagame has a recording of her mother's voice saying "Tatsu," the name of her self-driving car, in order to override the controls and go where she wants. Speaking the destination in her own voice is fine once Tatsu gets her mother's authorization.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Homer goes on a tabloid news show in an attempt to clear his name after being accused of sexually harassing a college-aged babysitter when he peeled a rare gummy-candy off the seat of her pants. However, the interview is heavily (and poorly) edited into a totally inaccurate segment where Homer is portrayed as a total pervert who shamelessly admits to harassing the babysitter.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode "Eggman: The Video Game Part 1", Eggman, trying to get motion capture for his video game, splices together a recording of Sonic to make it seem like Sonic is insulting Shadow.
    Sonic: Shadow? He is—week—that—wind—bag—could—never—beat—me—what a—week—week—week—wind—bag—he is.
  • In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Money Grandma", Robin, in an attempt to make Cyborg and Beast Boy look bad so he'll be re-elected as Team Leader, splices together "security camera footage" of Cyborg insulting Beast Boy, and vice versa.


Video Example(s):


RvB: Reconstruction (of comms)

The Meta splices together an intercepted communication between Wash and Command to send the Reds after him.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / RecordedSplicedConversation

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